An ocean of plastic

CSIROscope Blog

It’s estimated that 80 million tons of plastics are produced globally each year. Because they are so durable, plastics require about 500 years to decompose in the ocean.

It’s like plastic confetti has been sprinkled into every last inch of the ocean, and not in a festive way. This has a major impact on the world’s marine ecosystems.

Some of the plastic pieces collected on board the recently retired research vessel, Southern Surveyor.

We’ve posted before about the National Marine Debris Survey, the first of its scale in the world. The Survey collects and analyses marine debris around the country, sampling rubbish at 100 kilometre intervals around Australia’s 35,000 kilometre coastline.

The project will create a ‘debris map’, comparing the cleanup data, ocean currents and wildlife distribution patterns to see where rubbish goes and locate the types of rubbish most dangerous to our marine wildlife. The final report is…

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